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Issue 45, Fortnight of 28 November 2016
Image: Courier Mail Articles Tuesday 15th November 2016.

Turnbull Government cracking down on environmental organisations
It was recently reported in the Courier Mail that the Turnbull Government is planning to revoke the charity status of Environmental Organisations engaging in campaigning instead of ‘Grass Roots’ efforts. This would mean that donations would no longer be tax deductible.

This follows from the Abbott Governments plan in 2014 to change the definition of ‘Environmental Organisation’ to specify that they must only undertake ‘On Ground’ works. Legal academics warned then, that it could be considered unconstitutional and violates Freedom of Speech. Both moves are thought to be the result of pressure from the mining industry.

The QLD LNP supports the Turnbull Governments plan, stating that green activists are unnecessarily holding up resource projects that will create jobs and opportunities in Queensland.

There is little logic to the argument that only on-ground works benefit the environment and society, as the cost of planting a tree and the years it takes to grow, hardly offset the value of mature or old growth tree saved from the bulldozer by the efforts of passionate individuals or dedicated organisations.

Unfortunately, in many circumstances, advocacy is the only means available to redress an imbalance and provide a vehicle for community members to engage with often complex legislative, institutional and policy decision making - driven by economic imperatives.

On-ground works are in fact the least efficient method of protecting the environment, and in some cases, are a way of cost shifting environmental repair to volunteers from what should be core responsibilities of society and government.

Environment organisations undertake a wide variety of work to protect and conserve Australia's unique natural environment. As within any other charitable sector, advocacy plays as important a function as on-ground work.

Read More:
Image: Hinchinbrook sunset, Ann Ingham

Hinchinbrook Island National Park Management Plan – community consultation
Is Hinchinbrook Island National Park are a favourite of yours? You may like to provide feedback on the revised Management Plan and the Visitor Strategy.

To access copies of the plan and strategy, to complete an online survey or to make a written submission by 5th December, click here
Image: NPAQ Members undertaking revegetation works at Boombana, Ruth Read

Annual Fundraiser
Support our annual fundraising drive: please give generously to help us protect our National Parks!
The National Parks Association of Queensland (NPAQ) has been advocating for over 85 years for the protection and wise management of National Parks and reserves. Over the coming year, we have a valuable opportunity to advocate against the current threats to Queensland’s National Parks, including grazing and tourism developments.

Please support our annual fundraising drive and help us ensure that conservation is at the heart of Queensland’s National Parks.
Please click here to donate now
National Parks Australia Council Annual Meeting
NPAQ attended the Annual National Parks Australia Council (NPAC) meeting, hosted by the Victorian National Parks Association.  

Whilst each member state and territory has its own objectives to accomplish, there is an underlying common thread that transcends borders. Building upon this common thread with NPAC's maxim of "working together ", participants tackled national protected area issues. 
Image: Mapleton National Park, QLD Government.

Mapleton National Park upgrades - recreation park or national park?
Mapleton National Park has recently received $250,000 worth of upgrades. The works undertaken include an upgrade of the day use picnic area facilities, dedicated horse riding facilities, horse float car parking, trail bike car parking, 23km of shared trails for bush walking, horse riding, mountain biking, and a 9.5 km mountain bike track.

Could this money have been better spent on managing the national park, or on conservation efforts?

Recreational spaces  are an important and necessary factor in planning our open spaces, and NPAQ applauds the State Government for addressing the  recreational needs of Queenslanders. However, whilst NPAQ appreciates the historical use of national parks that were previously forest reserves,  we strongly advocate for appropriate recreational activities within our national parks - nature based and low impact. 

National parks struggle to receive sufficient funding to manage their conservation values – with conservation being their primary purpose. When funds are spent on infrastructure to provide a range of recreational opportunities in a park, in particular impacting and obtrusive activities such as trail bikes, it is easy to question the logic of why the park was gazetted in the first place. We risk a serious downgrading of the value of national parks and the public perception as to their purpose.

Read Minister Miles’ Media Statement here.
For Information on Mapleton National Park click here.
Image: Chalahn Falls, Toolona Circuit, Lamington National Park. Tony Parsons.

A change in the wind for the way Queenslanders go camping in National Parks - Green Mountains going gold class
Recently, the Queensland Government announced their conditional approval of the upgrades planned for the Green Mountains campground in Lamington National Park, which will be carried out and run under a  private management agreement.  The proposal includes the introduction of safari tents, a communal camp kitchen and outdoor meeting space, as well as upgraded facility blocks (in addition to tent and RV sites).

The new facilities and glamping facilities are to be incorporated through the expansion of the existing campground area. As yet no detailed plans have been released to the public, but we will keep you informed when more detailed information is released.

The progression of this proposal signifies a shift in the approach to visitor management in national parks. NPAQ has long held reservations regarding commercial interests and infrastructure in national parks. We are watching eco-tourism proposals with guarded interest, assessing each proposal on its merits and adherence to the Cardinal Principle – to provide, to the greatest possible extent, for the permanent preservation of the natural condition and protection of cultural resources and values. This principle is the mainstay of national parks.
Image: Clematis dubia – Norfolk Island, The Conversation

National Parks are vital for protecting Australia’s endangered plants
National Parks are vital for protection of plants and animals under threat.  Beyond that National Parks and protected areas are a way of protecting the knowledge we have yet to discover. To best conserve and protect species we first need to understand them, but there is still much to learn.
Read More here
Farewell to Kirsty Leckie
NPAQ farewells Kirsty Leckie, our Conservation Principal. Kirsty joined NPAQ earlier this year, and has now moved on to pursue other career opportunities.

Kirsty produced Protected - NPAQ’s flagship magazine, maintained relationships with government, extended our social media platform and initiated the NPAQ student industry placement program with University of Queensland. Kirsty was an enthusiastic presence in the office.

We wish Kirsty all the best for her future endeavours, and thank her for her time with NPAQ.  
UQ Students
Emma Fitzsimmons has successfully finished her University of Queensland industry placement with NPAQ. Emma participated in an ongoing national park research program that NPAQ is undertaking, producing high quality material that we can utilise in our advocacy and education programs. Emma also enthusiastically assisted with our Instagram account, and attended promotional events.

We wish Emma all the best for her upcoming Honours year and future career.    
Lucy Hollingsworth has just commenced her University of Queensland industry placement with NPAQ. Lucy is also participating in the ongoing national park research program that NPAQ is undertaking. Welcome Lucy, we trust your summer at NPAQ will be both enjoyable and fruitful. 
NPAQ has been selected to participate in Local Matters at Grill’d Rosalie this November!

Local Matters is the Grill’d community donation program that sees each Grill’d restaurant donate $500 back into the community every month. The donation is split between 3 local community groups $300 / $100 / $100.

We’d love your support in receiving the highest $300 donation!

Simply head to Grill’d Rosalie during November and pop your Local Matters token in the NPAQ jar. The group with the most tokens at the end of the month receives the largest donation.

Grill’d Rosalie is located at 19 - 21 Nash St Corner of Elizabeth St, Rosalie.
Monday 5 December 2016
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Into the Heart of Fire Ant Country: A Road Trip Through Southern USA
Hosted by the Invasive Species Council
Parliament House
Alice St
Click here to book
Sunday 22 January 2017
Bird Watching John Oxley Reserve
Friends of Tamborine National Park - Working Bee
Saturday 3 December 2016
For the last working bee for 2016, we will meet at the Knoll Section of Tamborine National Park. This is a popular picnic area as it has commanding views over the Albert River valley. We will undertake some maintenance tasks and also do some infill planting. This will be followed by a barbeque lunch and a chat about next years program. 

Wildlife Spotter
Become a citizen scientist and assist researchers by looking for animals in wilderness photos taken by automated cameras around Australia. Anyone can join in and you can do it all online.

Fraser Island Defenders Organisation
Call for Volunteers for 2017
International Volunteer Day
5 December 2016

World Soil Day
5 December 2016

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